Hemp beer hops to it

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Jindong-based craft brewery Rocky Ridge Brewing Co and Vasse Valley hemp farm have joined forces to create WA’s first hemp-based beer.

The first brew of Dr Weedy’s Hemp Ale is set to make its debut at the Fremantle Beer Festival this weekend.

Its release on November 12 follows the nation-wide legalisation of hemp seed for human consumption in Australia.

Vasse Valley hemp farmers Chris and Bronwyn Blake - who have been growing hemp for about two years - said they took a major punt in investing to grow hemp, but were frothing over the release of Dr Weedy’s Hemp Ale.

“When we applied for our licence we had no idea if or when there would be a market for our products in Australia,” he said.

“Our goal was to harvest seed for food and we just kept on farming in hope and preparation that it would soon be legalised.”

Mrs Blake said they initially experimented with a trial brew, but did not have the capital or infrastructure to develop the beer independently.

She said a friend suggested joining forces with Rocky Ridge Brewing Co founder and brewer Hamish Coates.

“He was looking for something unique because there are so many craft brewers out there you need something special to break through the ice,” she said.

Mr Coates said when Vasse Valley approached him with their product, he was “blown away” by the amount flavour the seed contributed to the overall taste of the beer.

“After one sniff I knew it had that wow factor I’ve been looking for,” he said.

“I thought long and hard about what type of beer would suit it and decided on a Hemp Seed Brown Ale”.

The hemp-based beer will make its debut at the Fremantle Beer Festival this weekend and will be available for purchase from selected liquor outlets.

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